Yingluck expected to become Thailand's first female PM

08:33, July 04, 2011      

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Yingluck Shinnawatra, prime minister candidate from the Phue Thai party and the youngest sister of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin, celebrates victory with her supporters with big thanks at Pheu Thai Party, Bangkok, Thailand, on July 3, 2011.Thailand's opposition Phue Thai Party's prime minister candidate Yingluck Shinnawatra declared victory while ruling Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva conceded his party's defeat hours after the voting ended in the Southeast Asian nation's general election on Sunday. (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)

With a landslide victory of Pheu Thai Party, Yingluck Shinawatra, the party's prime ministerial candidate and also the youngest sister of self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is set to become the country's 28th and the first female prime minister.

As for possible parties to join the coalition, Yingluck elaborated that her party had already made an agreement with Chartthaipattana Party to form a new government.

Based on the latest unofficial figures, the two parties will win about 278 MPs in the house, well beyond half of total 500 seats.

"I don't want to announce Pheu Thai victory today. It is Thai people who granted the party a chance to serve them. We still have many burdens waiting ahead, including solving economic difficulties and people's grievances," Yingluck told the crowded and cheering supporters and media at about 8:00 p.m. local time.

Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted former PM, made a phone call from Dubai to his youngest sister to congratulate her on the party 's decisive triumph.

Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva conceded his party's defeat and congratulated his main rival Pheu Thai Party on its decisive victory at about 7:45 p.m. on Sunday.

"I admitted the defeat and would like to congratulate Khun (Ms) Yingluck as the first female prime minister of Thailand," Abhisit made the first address at a press conference on Sunday's election.

He said from now on he would like to see reconciliation in Thai society and that his party will perform its duty as an opposition in a constructive way. He also reminded the winning party to realize all policies that it promised with the people.

Abhisit is likely to quit the post of party leader if his party cannot win at least 170 seats as he mentioned earlier.

"I cannot tell my fate now as I have to wait for the official results. However, I have made my mind already," he said before ending the press conference without taking questions.

Referring to the deposed ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra, Abhisit also reiterated that the Democrats would continue to oppose any act of whitewashing or granting pardon to an individual.

In an interview with ThaiPBS channel Sunday's evening, Thaksin said he would not come back to Thailand if his return would result in more problems.

Thaksin was toppled by the military coup in September 2006 and now lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid a two-year jail term for corruption as well as a warrant on terrorism charges in connection with inciting red-shirt riots in 2010.

He and the Pheu Thai Party were behind the United Front Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), aka red-shirts, who held street protests against the Democrat-led government in 2009 and 2010. The 2010 demonstrations ended after 10 weeks with the forceful dispersal by military forces which led to 91 deaths and almost 1,900 injuries. The Election Commission said Sunday night they would stop counting the ballots as soon as they finished 90 percent counting and would declare the official results on July 4.

Yingluck said her premiership depended on parliamentary process. This is the second time she mentioned about the uncertainty of her premiership. On June 27, she told her fan club from social network that she was not sure whether they would allow her to become the country's leader or not.

Certainly, with the number of MPs her party has secured from the voting, she would definitely become the country's leader if it comes to the parliamentary votes which shall be held within 30 days.

Regarding Pheu Thai outstanding conquer, Parinya Thewanarumitkul, a law lecturer at Thammasat University, said "the victory of the opposition Pheu Thai Party has reflected that majority of Thai people are against the coup but it doesn't mean people choose Pheu Thai because they adore red-shirts or Thaksin."

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